R. O. Blechman on pro bono jobs

“That got me to thinking of my roofer. The situation was now reversed. I was no longer the consumer but, like my roofer, the supplier — but a supplier with a big difference. There was no talk of a pro bono job with him.

Now, I didn’t expect my roofer to work gratis. He had expenses to meet — supplies to buy, overhead to cover, maybe an assistant to pay. But didn’t I have expenses of one kind or another? Didn’t I have overhead? Wasn’t my expertise, my talent, my years of experience worth something? Why, I had to wonder, didn’t anybody in art school tell me that holding a pen counted for less than holding a hammer, a plunger, or a wire snipper?”

— R. O. Blechman on being asked to do an illustration job pro bono